Out of the Lion's Den, Into the Crocodile's Jaws?: Lessons from policy developments on customary forest in Bulukumba

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Recent changes to Forestry Law No. 41/1999 give greater rights to Indonesian customary groups over their traditional forests. The Constitutional Court declared customary forest a form of privately owned or "rights-based forest[1]" (hutan hak) (Decree MK 35/ PUU-X/2012), granting customary groups ownership rights over their traditional forest areas. Although the legal guidance for recognizing customary forest is still in the making, it is understood that a preliminary step to recognize customary forest and release it from state forest is through a local government regulation (PERDA) that recognizes customary groups and delineates their traditional forests (Safitri and Uliyah, 2014). Unlike decrees, such a regulation requires legitimation by the local parliament (DPRD).

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